In the clinic, it is thought that therapeutic interventions during the initial phases of neurovascular and/or traumatic brain injuries may have potential for meaningful impact on patient's outcome. Notably lacking, however, is the ability to match critical care therapeutics to any dynamic neurophysiologic end-point. Although some tools that can probe neurophysiology are available nowadays, very few are indicated for patients during critical care, as they either require movement of patients, exposure to ionizing radiation or invasive procedures. Recently, the diffuse optical techniques have been highlighted as possible candidates to noninvasively monitor cerebral physiology inside the neuro-intensive care unit (nICU). Over the past year, our lab at UNICAMP has translated diffuse optics to the clinic. We have developed a hybrid, all optical instrument capable of measuring brain hemodynamics at the bedside and have been using it in pilot studies at the nICU to monitor neurocritical patients during the long-term. In the same vein, Prof. Arjun Yodh's Biomedical Optics group at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) has pioneered the introduction of diffuse optical techniques into the clinic nearly a decade ago. Recently, the group at Penn have been actively developing novel methodologies for monitoring neurocritical patients with diffuse optics. The current project proposes a PhD exchange program with the main goal of combining the patient monitoring expertise acquired at both UNICAMP and at Penn. With this project, we plan to bring advances from both labs at the same level, and compare results between our methodologies and theirs in similar patients. Furthermore, we plan to keep advancing on the general goal of translating diffuse optical techniques to the nICU by developing more accurate algorithms and instrumentation that can be used by both labs.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: